The definition of a mystical experience is the feeling in which you identify yourself to be one with everything else. It is a breakthrough of the ego boundary which you have so carefully constructed throughout your life and a dissolving of your identity to that of everyone and everything around you.
Not me as in I, but me as in you. You See?
This experience can be induced through hallucinogens, by chance from what the Christians may call “Grace”, or by extensive study of sacred texts. Or it can simply never happen in a person’s lifetime – plenty of those cases.
Regardless, it is remarkable how consistent these experiences tend to be had by people from all walks of life. In all ages of human history there have been the mystics. Religious persuasions are irrelevant in considering the message of these delightful people.
In fact, this is the experience of common ground among all religious factions. There may be great scuffles and disagreements in the court of mixed religious clergymen, but when mystics of different cultures gather there is only accord, only learning.
That is because the fundamental essence for being a mystic is unbridled curiosity and acceptance. This is the state of mind where thoughts are innocent and amazed with every flicker of light, every falling leaf. Great ecstasy arises out of simply walking one step. Supreme happiness unfolds with a ripple in a pond. The Ultimate Reality seems to be playing a game – and you’re participating.
For reference, here are several people of mystical inclinations: Jelal Al-Din Rumi, Meister Eckhart, Emmanuel Swedenborg, Nicholas of Cusa, John Dee, Black Elk and countless others throughout history.
The undertaking of such individuals stems from introspective work, but intends to have far broader implications. The feeling arises that as one steps into a mystical experience, humanity as a whole is somehow alleviated. It’s akin to a child wanting to play, but is ignored for long time and then finally someone turns their attention towards the child in an open, fun way. Then the magic of play is a shared experience. Such is the feeling a human being can have with the laws of the universe.
Allow me to illustrate one of my experiences. While I was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina I was studying Buddhist Meditation and Quantum Physics, among other things. I came across a simple fact about atoms that gave me insight. It stated an atom is comprised of 99.999999999% empty space. This is a simple fact and one that is commonplace by now, well I hope at least. But try to visualize that. I mean really see it. Amazing how the matrix can be seen if you choose to see and with enough imagination. In this vision there is no difference between you and the tree over there. Both of you are just space. The distinction of each is in the minutia of atomic vibrations. And what causes these vibrations to do what they do? I would need to consult a real quantum physicist if he’s got an answer to that.
Then a memory came of my 7th grade science teacher who said that according to probability, if you bang your head on a door for an infinite duration there is slight chance that you might go through. Wielding these two powerful thoughts in my head, I literally brought myself to tears on a downtown bus stop because my hand wouldn’t pass through my own leg. It seems silly of course! But why couldn’t it pass through? What is it exactly that differentiates my hand from my leg? Is it simply the strong and weak forces in matter or the covalent bonding of cells? Is it the electrical repulsion?
Then the idea of an atom being both matter and wave came to mind. What is it that forms my hand or leg? Then the real question begs itself: What is form?
Now these questions need not be answered. One could get very lost in physics and philosophy to try and answer them. But what is important is the sensation – revelatory sensation brought about by scientific facts.
Being within my own body yet knowing that this bag of skin in reality dissolves into the sea of empty space and vibrating particles. There is a sublimity here; a certain quiet existence. What I call “I” am not distinct from anything or anyone else around me.
Reality is a uniform landscape encircling your mind playing its game and acting as different characters. What is truly remarkable is that though everything including yourself seems to lose its substance there does remain one constant; and that is your own mind with its own choices.
This space has no ethics, no moral or social codes. It just is. Destruction and creation dance in large and small scales. Movement is is not judged as good or bad; it simply has eddie currents or tendrils of more movement.
This is where existential crises come to haunt the human mind. Whatever it is you call “you” is stationed in the center of a multifaceted world of infinite possibilities. What are you going to do about it?
I’ll leave that for you to ponder.
Why bother with any of this stuff, huh? We are living in a crucial time where the fields of science and religion are once again meeting on common ground. I just explained mysticism induced by science. That’s downright beautiful! I am grateful that I am alive in the time when science has progressed to such a degree that we actually know what happens at the subtle atomic levels. Remarkably, reality tends to behave in ways predicted by mystics for thousands of years! Amazing! We are scientifically proving Nature’s subtleties. I won’t even call this spirituality because it’s not! When the most complicated computer in the universe, the human mind, was practiced and focused enough by the mystics on discovering the Nature of Reality, wouldn’t you think that something would come of it? Quantum Physics leads more and more to the fact of consciousness being a pervading force in the universe.
These are revelations that can be utilized in everyday life! While walking try to envision the pressure distribution of your weight as you affect he atoms of the earth. As you speak to someone, imagine the sound waves propagating from your vocal chords and affecting the vibration of your listener’s eardrum. As you sit, imagine the electric repulsive forces between the atoms of your butt and those of the chair. You’re not sitting, you’re levitating! As you see color, imagine how the color itself only exists as an interplay of light bouncing between your retina and the atoms of objects.
These are delightful miracles! These are things to be grateful for! This is science with a hint of divinity. This is reality.
Fritjof Capra, Richard Feynman, Alan Watts, Scott Peck, Max Planck, Rumi, Buddhism, shamanism…